Clement Deschambault papers (MS 50)

Abstract: This collection contains materials relating to Hon. Clement Deschambault’s law enforcement and political careers in the city of Biddeford. It is comprised of clippings, correspondence, photographs, awards, and speeches he delivered in both French and English. The bulk of the materials cover the years 1957 to 1964.

History: Clement H. Deschambault was born in Biddeford on November 1, 1910, a son of Zepherin and Lea (Leblanc) Deschambault, and was one of nine children. He married Henriette Palardis on November 11, 1933, with whom he had four daughters: Carmen, Claire, Violet and Lucille. He was a lifetime resident of the city, and a member of the city police department for many years, rising to the rank of captain in 1936, a position he held until 1942. The U.S. census of 1940 reports Deschambault had a 7th grade education, and yet he was a police captain with the city working 64 hours a week on average, 51 weeks a year. At the same time, he also owned and operated a grocery store out of his home on outer Main Street. In 1956 he resigned his duties with the police department to devote more time to his business.

Deschambault was elected mayor in 1958 on the Democratic ticket and won four successive terms to establish himself as a leader in state Democratic circles. Following his retirement from politics in 1963, Deschambault focused on operating his grocery store which he ran out of his home at 506 Main Street. Deschambault ran his grocery until his retirement in 1969. Deschambault was a strong supporter of education and pointed to the construction of the new high school, almost across the street from his Main Street home on Maplewood Avenue, as one of the accomplishments of his administration. He also numbers among those accomplishments an improved street system and planning for the municipal airport. He was a communicant of St. Joseph’s Church in Biddeford, and was buried at St. Joseph’s Cemetery upon his sudden death in 1975 at age 64.


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